The Altra IQ run shoe powered by iFit, is positioned as a smart shoe for runners and was available to demo last week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Altra IQ powered by iFit is a smart running shoe that acts as a personal stride coach, giving runners real-time feedback during the run. A ‘razor-thin, multi-sensor system’ embedded the full length of the midsole in each shoe tracks a range of running intelligence, such as foot strike zone.
The Altra IQ shoe powered by iFit is built on the same last as Altra’s new Impulse shoe. Altra IQ shoes transmit data to an iFit app or iFit tracker watch, which provides individual analysis and real-time coaching on the run.
With an MSRP of US$199.99, the new shoe will be available in spring 2016 at specialty running shoe retailers and AltraRunning.com.
“For too long, ‘How far?’ and ‘How fast?’ have been the only two metrics used to analyze your run,” said Altra’s VP of Sales, co-founder and ultra runner Brian Beckstead.
He continued, “Altra IQ gathers intelligence on a full range of running biomechanics. For example, you’ll learn right away – during your run – if you are landing harder on one foot, which could easily turn out to be the reason your knee hurts. Then with individual data collected from your running form, Altra provides personal critiques, just like a coach, to improve your run, every time you run.”
Altra founder Golden Harper said many running injuries can be prevented by learning efficient, low impact running form.
“However, it’s really, really hard to analyze running form on yourself,” Harper said. “This shoe is designed to help new runners avoid poor technique and make experienced runners more efficient when pounding the pavement. Much of this impact can be avoided with the elements of proper running technique, like high cadence and a soft landing.
He added, “Intelligence is power, and Altra IQ can help like nothing else.”
The iFit Ridge watch and iFit app screen will show each of the various metrics collected. Individual recommendations for improving running form will be both visible and audible via a smartphone and visible on the iFit GPS watch, sold separately.
Runners can also collect data without any carrying a phone or watch during the run – the shoes actually store the data. A select team of running experts, coaches and exercise physiologists created the analytics and feedback suggestions.
A few devices in the market measure a few of these metrics, said Harper. “However, nobody has something that will tell runners ‘You are over-striding. Try pumping your elbows back and not letting them swing forward past your hips,’” Harper said, as an example.
He added, “The Altra IQ shoes are a running coach in a shoe: observing running form, analyzing and suggesting real-time corrections to help the runner dial in their form as they run.”
Altra IQ uses a flexible multi-sensor system and BLE transmitter embedded in a hollowed out groove of both the left and right shoes. According to the company, the technology doesn’t alter the feel of the foot bed – it’s designed to be invisible and totally imperceptible by the runner.
- Running cadence (with a target of 172-180 foot strikes per minute)
- Ground contact time
- Foot strike zone (heel vs midfoot vs forefoot)
- Left foot vs right foot favouring (ground force calculation)
- Foot-specific pressure
Product highlights include:
- 360-degree reflectivity from the ‘circuit board’ design welded into the upper
- Multi-sensor/transmitter/battery packet weighs less than half an ounce and is powered by replaceable CR2032 coin cell batteries, common in heart rate monitors and car key fobs. The batteries are dormant when the shoe is not in motion, to maximize battery life.
- The durability of the flexible electronics packet has been tested in an ISO 9000-rated laboratory and is rated for 1 million+ cycles of bending, or about 600 miles.
- Designed and built for rain, puddles and normal outdoor running
- Lightweight at 8.6 ounces/243 grams
- Altra’s signature FootShape toebox, which allows toes to relax and splay naturally with each footfall and toe-off
- Altra’s Zero Drop sole, with balanced, level cushioning at the heel and forefoot
- Altra’s guaranteed replacement if the sensor system fails before the life of the shoe
“A tracker can’t do this. An insole can’t do this,” Altra’s VP of Sales Brian Beckstead continued. “The new Altra IQ smart running shoe is the very first of its kind in the world.”
Altra Footwear and iFit technology are registered trademarks of ICON Health & Fitness, which is billed as the world’s leading health & fitness innovator, based in Logan, Utah.